The “Dead” Books By: Charlaine Harris
2014 Books 1 to 12
When Dad was sick I spent a lot of time at his house and I was going to attempt to read 100 books in a year. In the middle of that attempt my Dad went from bad to worse and reading fell off the priority list. Dad is now better and it is a new year. So, I am going to give this a go again.
I will be moving into my new home in the upcoming months. Bobby is responsible for my dream home which includes my library/office. It was while I was looking through books and deciding what would be in the library and in what order that I was reminded what an easy read all of Charlaine Harris’ “Dead” books had been. You probably know them as the “True Blood” or “Sookie Stackhouse” series. As the show racks up seasons, I realize that I prefer the books to the show (which does not stay true to the books at all).
So, here is my take on each book (the synops will not encompass the WHOLE books but what I took away from it AND there will be TONS of SPOILERS so – SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
Dead Until Dark: I genuinely like the first book. I read it in under twenty-four hours (of course that was on a slow Sunday that involved a long drive). We are introduced to the primary characters: Sookie, Vampire Bill, Eric and Sam. Of course there are a number of supporting characters but those are the hard hitters. The show stayed close to the theme of the book in the first season. Jason is framed, women are killed, vampires are accused. This storyline involved a ton of killing, a devirginated main character and an anti-vampire villain. – Book #1 of the new year. (completed 01/05/13)
Living Dead In Dallas: Oh, this was the book with the pig… Yipee! I found humor after reading the first book and then starting this one (and starting the series at the same time) on the fact that Eric is this big tall Viking. Season One hist stature was the same height as Bill’s. Season Two they must have had him stand on a stool. This was the book where I joined Team Eric. I never really liked Bill. Come to find out, neither did Harris. The fans demanded she keep him in the books. She would have preferred to have him staked. Boo to the fans. Pam’s character develops and I find that I really like her and she may be my favorite of the book characters. This one begins with the death of LaFayette. And, just like Bill in the book, the TV fans demanded his reprieve. So, although LaFayette is removed from the books, he lived on on the screen. We are introduced to another telepath and to werewolves. Eric becomes a bigger (sexier) character. We are also introduced to the Newlins who run the Fellowship of the Sun. We learn the word “supe”, short for supernatural. And the maenad – the TV show concentrated on her and her madness. In the book, she was a blip, a few chapters – and she lived…. 01/18/14 (took a couple of weeks because I had other crap to do. Like, watch Season One of Ally McBeal… sheesh).
Club Dead: Well hello Alcide, you big, warm blooded Werewolf you. In this book Bill is kidnapped. It is ok to start disliking him or hoping Sook hooks up with other characters. Eric increases in sexiness. There was the whole “giving her blood and then canoodling” scene. We are introduced to the King of Mississippi. And it ends with her rescinding everyone’s invitation into her home. Oh, what will she do? What WILL she do? (I know of course because this is my second reading of these books but a cliffhanger IS a cliffhanger after all). 01/19/14
Dead To The World: I believe this is my favorite of the series. I like the Eric-Sookie combination. It was the dirtiest (up to that point) of the novels. The front story is that Eric has been cursed and has lost his memory. Uncharacteristic of him, he is a lovable, caring mate to Sookie. We are introduced to a number of witches (Holly works with Sookie). Marnie (played on the show by Fona Shaw aka Harry Potter’s aunt) in particular. In the book she was secondary to the plotline. I find it fascinating how the TV show makes bigger the secondary characters of the book. We meet Claudine the fairy, attracting vampires more so than Sook. The inhabitants of the town of Hotshot are brought into play and we learn of the werepanthers as Jason is kidnapped and eventually bitten in a hope of turning him into a shifter. The book ends with (01/21/14)
Dead As A Doornail: Well, hello Quinn. I know that there are like four books left in the series that I did not read (rereading these now just to remember for those). BUT, I know I was always left wanting more of Quinn. I saw him as Vin Diesel in my mind. I think that is the only many (physically) who could portray the weretiger properly. Calvin becomes more endearing. Alcide’s dad dies in a duel to be packmaster. Alcide suddenly gives the “you failed me” look to Sookie (asshole). We kill a pirate (named after some great tea). And the book ends with a soft kiss from Eric. Swoon and sigh. I’m done with this book. NEXT! (01/24/14)
Definitely Dead: More Quinn. Dry humping Quinn on the counter. Sookie has to go to New Orleans to check on her dead cousin’s (Hadley) estate. Hadley was the lover of the Queen of Mississippi who is being forced into a contractual marriage with the Kin of Arkansas. The Pelt’s (the parents of Alcide’s ex lover who Sook killed in self defense during the time of the amnesic Eric) try to kill her, try to kidnap her and want to torture the truth out of her. In the end, with her tiger by her side, Sook tells them how it was self defense. (closure). A war breaks out between the soon-to-wed vamps. Sook sides with the Queen and the king dies. We meet the demons too… Tricky little devils. Another one down! (01/25/14)
All Together Dead: Well, the CO Academy has dampened my ability to fun-speed-read! But still, I read it. More Quinn and we meet his sister Fannie. There is a convention. We are introduced to Britlingens – Cloveche and Batanya (who have an additional short story – http://www.e-reading.co.uk/chapter.php/136809/1/Must_Love_Hellhounds.html). They were from an alternate universe. So there was a vamp convention and the hotel blew the hell up. But, before the sparks, Eric and Sook were forced to share blood for a third time and now their bond is very strong. Sook and Barry team up to use their telepathic powers jointly. Our main characters (Eric, Pam, Bill, Mr Catalides, Quinn, Frannie, Queen Sophie) all survive but with injuries. The last chapter sees Sook visiting Quinn in the hospital and Frannie loaning her the mustang to drive home in. The very last scene shows that Amelia and Bob (the witch and black cat-previously warlock) are still staying at Sookie’s house and JB and Tara have married. The ending of this book left no real cliffhangers other than the Quinn-Sook romance and where it would go. On to the next one!! (01/30/14)
From Dead To Worse: This is the wrap it up book. Break up with Alcide (crazy Mama business that brought about the demise of Queen Sophie during the takeover of the King of Nevada). That was a sad moment. We established that Bill was still entirely in love with Sookie, bucking the new king with a death threat if Sook met her demise. Bob the Cat is now a man. Octavia (Amelia the Witch’s mentor) steps into the picture (resolving the I-turned-Bob-to-a-cat issue for Amelia). Crystal cheated on Jason (resulting in the abdjurment of Jason from Sookie and Calvin having a broken claw). And we met the beautiful prince of the fae, Naill, Sook’s great-grandfather. Alcide is now the packmaster in Shreveport and things are rocky between him and Sook. We wrap up the book with an increased presence of FotS members, Sook under the protection of both Were and Vamp community, and she has met her nephew Hunter, who has the same disability as se does…. (02/06/14 – because of the Academy, my reading has slowed down tremendously. Actually read this between yesterday and today – after a big test).
Dead And Gone: So we had a were-war, a vampire takeover and now a fairy battle. RIP Claudine. You saved Sook a number of times (and you were expecting). Eric and Sookie are now more bound. Bill risked his life (greatly) to save Sookie. And now the Fairy world will be closed off from the human plane for forever. Niall will be gone from Sookie. There is a random half-elf that is still on the run, no one knows where. We learn that the water fae are who is responsible for the deaths of the Stackhouse parents. Clancy is dead (no loss). Tray is dead (Amelia’s boyfriend who died while helping ALL save Sook). And we close with Niall telling Sook and Jason goodbye (why did he not ask her to come to the world of fae. The answer would have been no but I would have thought it symbolic to ask). (02/08/14)
Dead In The Family: This book was more of a “hey, I need to write one to keep the fans interested” kind of book. The father of Claudine’s dead baby (well Claudine was dead too) came to seek revenge, drew in a Were that was new to the long tooth pack. Eric’s maker and new brother came to visit. Alexi, the new brother was the last in a line of Russian royalty and was batshit crazy. Alcide’s girlfriend cheated on him with the aforementioned new Were to the pack. There was a Were trial, there was a fairy on vampire fight and in the end, our main characters were alive, Eric’s maker was dead (freedom to him) and the baby-daddy was also put down. A lot of glitter and ash on Sook’s front step. Dermot and Claude are now the only fae left on this side of the portal. (02/10/14)
Dead Reckoning: Well the blood bond is broken between Sook and Eric. We found out that before his death, Eric’s maker sealed a pact between the Queen of OK and Eric for his marriage to her. Which means, in a nutshell, Sook is on the outs. A plan was set up and worked to take out Victor and his entourage. Pam loses her human love interest. Sook realizes that the demon is her sponsor (kinda like a Godfather of sorts). He is also the one responsible for her “gift” of telepathy. She has a love token that was passed down from Gran and Fintan to her. It is a “one wish” and could change her or the world around her drastically. Bubba finally sang to a crowd. Bill is still hovering just on the peripheral, giving constant reminders of his love for Sook. We end with Sandra Pelt taking Sam and his were-squeeze hostage in an attempt to finally kill Sookie. And, as with every other foe she has encountered, met her demise. Sook ends the book alone, no housemates, no boyfriend (truly). I have never read the last two books and I am hoping that they are not like a Newhart-show-style-ending. You know, where Bob wakes up, rolls over and it was all just a dream and he is in bed with his wife from the first show? I can see Sookie making her first wish be that she wishes it were all just a dream and she wakes up without knowing any of them. I will be a little pissy if that is the case. (02/11/14)
Deadlocked: Not my favorite of the series. They are setting up for the last one. More killing, more sexually frustrated Sookie, more Bill loving her from afar, more distancing of Eric from Sook. Now we know about a Queen wanting to marry Eric and move him out West. Sook uses a fairy gift that was given to Gran to save Sam’s life. Eric resents it because she should have used it to get him out of his betrothal to the Queen. Quinn calls her to wish her Happy Birthday. It was a book that touched on all the old/potential love interests because it sets us up for the “who will she choose in the end” theme of the grande finale. (02/15/14).
I ordered Dead Ever After and After Dead from Amazon and it took ten days to get it. During that time, I graduated from the WVDOC Academy and did a little indoor skydiving (as well as read The Strain). I will blog about the in-between-book and the grande finale books of The Dead series under separate covers.
Have you read all of these? What did YOU think?
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